PR: IAB Ireland Adspend Press Release 2016

  • Mobile Adspend for the year ended 2016 continues its upward trajectory, according to the latest IAB / PwC Online Adspend Study published today.
  • Total Digital Adspend is now at a record high of €445m, reflecting year-on-year growth of 31% for 2016, compared to 29% for 2015
  • Mobile adspend reaches €231m for the year ended 2016, reflecting growth of 63% over 2015


Click here to download the full Adspend for 2016 infographic

The latest IAB / PwC Online Adspend Study for the year ended December 2016, published today, reveals growth of 31% for the Irish digital advertising market, representing a total digital spend of €445m. This comprises €231m on the mobile platform and €214m on desktop. Many consumers are now accessing the internet via mobile first and advertisers are allocating their digital budgets accordingly.

Digital Advertising Formats (Desktop and Mobile combined)

Display advertising had the highest growth rate among digital ad formats at 44% representing €197m in 2016.

Paid-for-Search advertising has grown by 25% in 2016 over 2015 and remains the dominant digital format with a 49% share of total Digital Adspend at €219m.

Classified advertising online holds a 6% share of total online Adspend at €29m in 2016.

Within the Display category (desktop and mobile combined)

• Social Media saw a spend of €114m in 2016 up from €49m in 2015, representing a growth of 133%
• Video advertising grew by 91% to reach a spend of €47m in 2016, reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format.
• Native advertising saw a spend of €82m in 2016 up from €45m in 2015, representing a growth of 82%

For the first time Adspend participants (Publishers and Adnetworks) have reported the percentage of display adspend that is being traded programmatically in the Irish market. Programmatic trading refers to the use of automated processes and systems in the buying and selling of advertising inventory and in 2016 it amounted to 33% of display adspend with publishers and adnetworks.



Please note the formats are not mutually exclusive – there is some overlap as follows:
– Social Media includes social VOD
– VOD includes social VOD
– Native includes social media native advertising (i.e. in-feed)
– All Display includes social media, native, VOD, email and embedded / interruptive formats
– All growth figures are cross-platform


Finance, retail, telecoms & utilities, FMCG and auto are the top advertiser categories in Display Spend

Finance is the top spending category with publishers / adnetworks in digital display advertising with a share of 18% of display spend. Retail is in second position with a share of 14%.

Irish Mobile Adspend now represents 52% of total Digital Adspend

Reflecting the global growth trend in Mobile Adspend, the Irish market experienced a 63% growth in mobile advertising to €231m in 2016. Mobile now constitutes 52% of the total digital advertising spend in Ireland. This is also reflected in research by eMarketer which predicted that global mobile adspend would reach 51% of total digital advertising in 2016.

Mobile Search accounts for 55% of total mobile spend with Mobile Display advertising representing a 44% share. Classified Advertising holds a 1% share of mobile adspend.

Key Drivers for Digital Adspend growth:

1) Growth of digital consumption

80% of Irish adults now use smartphones * up from 75% in 2015.

2) Digital was the top focus for marketing spend for Irish marketers in 2016

Digital was ranked as the top area for marketing spend for Irish marketers in 2016 by 73% of the respondents to the Alternatives/ MII Sentiment Survey 2016. 28% of Irish marketers planned to dedicate between 21% and 50% of their marketing budget to digital in 2016.

3) 61% of Irish adults spend more than 4 hours a week consuming video streaming content **

Video advertising delivers hard to reach audiences, with 59% of 15-24 year olds watching more VOD than TV.***

Video advertising drives brand growth – 24% of adults visit a brand’s website after seeing a video ad and 20% search online for the specific brand.***

Further growth predicted for Online Adspend:

PwC predicts 16.5% growth per year (CAGR) in Irish Digital Adspend during the period 2015 – 2020 (PwC 2016 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook).

Media agency predictions: Carat predicts a growth rate of 15% for digital in full year 2017 with Core Media forecasting a growth of 13.5%.

Commenting on the study results Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland, said: “Digital is now recognised as the number one advertising channel in the Irish market. With this remarkable growth over recent years the digital advertising industry is entering a phase of maturity and this brings recognition of responsibility to both consumers and advertisers. IAB Ireland is leading in this role with important initiatives such as the Coalition for Better Ads research dedicated to improving consumers’ experience of online advertising”. “IAB Ireland’s members are also committed to testing new IAB LEAN ad formats which are lighter and less interruptive of users’ online experience. IAB’s ongoing commitment to these cross-industry initiatives developed in partnership with key industry stakeholders ensures that the Irish market is well placed to deliver a responsible and innovative digital ad industry”.

Commenting on the survey results, Nuala Nic Ghearailt, Manager, PwC, added:
“The digital advertising sector in Ireland continues to show very strong growth with mobile clearly outstripping desktop spend. The main areas of growth are coming from search, native, social media and video advertising”.

*Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016
**Virgin Media Digital Insights Report 2016
***IAB Ireland report: The Power of VOD 3, conducted by Nielsen June 2016


For further information please contact: Maeve O’Meara, Marketing Manager, IAB Ireland, 086 852 2291,
Notes to Editors

Background to the study
• The IAB has been working with PwC since 1997 to survey the value of Online Adspend in Europe and North America.

• 27 leading publishers participated in the study, many of whom represent multiple websites. Other participants include sales houses and advertising networks.

• Participating publishers were selected on the basis of traffic data and market knowledge. We estimate that our study accounts for 90% of Online Adspend. Reported figures are not adjusted to account for other organisations that have not participated. Participation is on a voluntary basis.

• Total advertising revenue is reported on a gross basis (i.e. including agency commission).

• Adspend revenue is drawn up on the basis of actual figures provided by study participants. All data was provided to PwC on a confidential basis. The data is prepared by PwC based on the figures provided by participants, which have not been verified or audited by PwC.

• Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do not publish their earnings from Irish advertisers. Instead PwC in conjunction with IAB created an independent estimate of their revenues from Irish advertisers and agencies, by extrapolating from spend data provided directly by a representative sample of their clients.

• RTÉ does not submit data to the IAB PwC Adspend Study, RTÉ’s digital Adspend, as reported in RTÉ’s most recent annual report, is included in the study.

About IAB Ireland

IAB Ireland ( is the trade association for the Irish online advertising industry. As a not-for-profit organisation IAB Ireland works with members to ensure marketers can identify the best role for online in building their brands. IAB Ireland is licensed by IAB US and is a member of the IAB Europe network. The IAB network shares three core objectives, namely to; prove, promote and protect the online advertising industry. These objectives are fulfilled through the dissemination of authoritative research, the organisation of educational events and by promoting industry-wide best practice.

About PwC

PwC ( provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services. More than 161,000 people in 154 countries across the PwC network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice for clients.